September 8, 2011 in News
It was important for us to have our first interview with the person who shocked the Smash Bros world in 2010. This player beat every top player in his path to his extraordinary first place finish, besting not only the likes of America’s greatest, but the entire world! This west coast monster managed his way through one of the toughest brackets in tournament history, earning him the first true international title in Smash Bros!As you may have guessed (from the title of the article) joining me in our inaugural interview for Apexsmash.com is none other than the champion of the 2010 Smash Bros. Brawl bracket, DEHF!
dmbrandon: Larry, it’s been a year since your win at Apex 2010, and in five months, you’ll have a chance to defend your title. But first, tell us a little bit about how you felt after your victory over Brood:
DEHF: I felt really excited and happy! The tournament itself was probably the most efficient tournament I’ve ever been to and it was really fun. Winning the tournament just made everything all the more better. It was the first national I’ve ever won and I did it going all Falco, something that a lot people said was impossible to do.
dmbrandon: Honestly, I still say it’s impossible. But, your innovative style with Falco has produced some serious success! Top placings at MLG, the Pound Series, and the winner of Apex 2010: Can we expect any new tricks this year, or do you just plan to hone your current style?
DEHF: You can expect some new tricks from this time around. I’ve been thinking up new tricks that I can use to prepare for Apex.
dmbrandon: Did you go into the tourney expecting a 1st place finish?
DEHF: I wasn’t expecting it, but I was aiming for it.
dmbrandon: Unfortunately, your presence hasn’t felt in such a powerful fashion since your first place finish at Apex 2010, can you give us a run down of what you’re doing to ensure you keep your title as Apex Champion?
DEHF: I intend on playing a lot more for Apex 2012. When I went to the last Apex I had been playing and practicing so much for it that I was prepared for everything thrown at me, it was the most I’ve ever practiced for a smash tournament in my life. After winning Apex I practiced less and less, which shows in my placings. I don’t own a working Wii or a copy of brawl, but I borrowed one from my friend recently and have been practicing a good amount by playing wifi with others.
dmbrandon: Some players swear by Wi-fi, and others won’t touch it. Do you feel Wi-fi is reliable practice?
DEHF: I feel like Wi-fi helps in your prediction skills and gives you some knowledge in match ups that you may not run into every tournament. The lag makes it so that you won’t play as well as you normally would offline, but I feel that if you think of Wi-fi more as a way to learn and improve the lag shouldn’t matter that much.
dmbrandon: Moving onto the ruleset, Apex is going for a more conservative ruleset, even going to the lengths to ban stages like Brinstar and Rainbow Cruise. This is going against the Unity Ruleset, which has so far been a bit more liberal. As a Falco player, where do you stand on stage lists?
DEHF: I agree with both of those stages being banned, Rainbow Cruise more than Brinstar. I think having a stage with a moving blastzone hurts the game competitively. It’s a fun stage of course, but I don’t think it belongs as a competitive stage list. I would think Brinstar is a fine stage as well if not for the acid that constantly rises. We all know that both stages has some sort of competitive potential in them, if they didn’t they would’ve been banned a lot sooner. I feel that having the stages left on are not the way to go, especially if we want to have more character diversity in our scene.
dmbrandon: Character diversity leads to one simple question: Metaknight! Ban?
DEHF: With the current stagelist we have I would say yes. With Rainbow Cruise and Brinstar banned, I’m not sure. I guess I would lean more to no.
dmbrandon: Well, moving on a bit, a lot of players are known for playing one specific character. I’d say you’re definitely the name that comes to mind when people think of Falco! However, Falco can be limited on in cetain situations, so have you picked up any secondaries that will benefit you on counter pick stages, or in hard matchups?
DEHF: I have a Metaknight, that pretty much takes care of all of all of Falco’s bad stages and bad match ups. I’ve been training up my Ice Climbers, trying to get them tournament ready. I don’t know if they’ll be good enough to use by the time Apex rolls along. I also have a pretty good Fox that I’ll probably never use. His good and bad match ups are the same as Falco’s, I don’t really see a point in using him over Falco.
dmbrandon: You mentioned you are working on Ice Climbers, what sparked the change?
DEHF: I think they have a lot of potential. The have an inescapable 0-death with their chain grab. Even without the chain grab, they rack up damage very fast.
dmbrandon: Do you see having to switch off a lot; who would you switch for? Who do you see this year as your biggest competition?
DEHF: I’d say there’s quite a few people. Esam is probably my biggest threat. He plays Pikachu and Ice Climber, Falco’s two worse match ups. Ally is a big one of course. He was amazing before and has gotten a lot better since he decided to use more characters. There’s ADHD, a player I’ve never beaten. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a game off of him in tournament. Tyrant, who I go back and forth with. If he’s on his game, He’s very capable of beating anyone. And of course, Mew2king. There are times when I play him and it just seems like absolutely nothing works.
dmbrandon: Since you went ahead and mention SO MANY of East Coast’s players, it begs the question: What region do you think is currently the strongest?
DEHF: As much I hate to say it, I have to say NY/NJ is strongest region right now. Overall, most of their players out place every other region and 1st place is usually taken by someone in that region at nationals.
dmbrandon: As a completely unbiased reporter, I would agree that your statement of New Jersey and New York being the best. Again, Unbiased. But, on the topic of regions, a lot of international attendance is expected, including a ton of Marth players from Europe! How do you think the Marth onslaught from Europe is going to fare against the Metaknights of America?
DEHF: I wouldn’t be surprised if they placed very high, but I don’t see them winning it all.
dmbrandon: Are you excited to play any specific international players?
DEHF: I’m most excited in playing Mr-R and Leon, I think it would be fun to play other high level Marth players.
dmbrandon: Are you confident in America winning the “USA vs the World Invitational Crew Battle?”
DEHF: I think we’ll win. We have all these good Metaknights! They won’t stand a chance!
dmbrandon: Well, I hope you all put on a good show! We’re all greatly looking forward to the event, and I’m sure everyone is going be playing at a fantastic level. But, before we talk about your expectations of the event as a whole, I wanna talk briefly about doubles. As one of the best players in the country, I’m sure you’re swarmed for teams requests. Have you found yourself a partner, or are you still weighing your options?
DEHF: Yes, I have a partner. I’m going to be teaming with Vex.
dmbrandon: You guys recently both traveled to Hawaii for an event, correct?
DEHF: Yes, we did. It was HSI 2011.
dmbrandon: What can the world expect from you and Vex? Team comps, predictions on placings, etc?
DEHF: I honestly don’t know, teams are hit and miss with me. I either place very high or very low. We aren’t going to be able to practice until Apex since we live so far from each other, so I hope that we instantly click when we play.
dmbrandon: Should we expect him to play Game and Watch for bucket shenanigans, or just straight Metaknight?
DEHF: I’d want him to go Game and Watch, I’ve never teamed with a good Game and Watch before.
dmbrandon: I suppose you guys will be trying to practice over Wifi, then?
DEHF: That’s true, I forgot about that.
dmbrandon: Besides the tourney itself, is there anything you’re excited about, in terms of attending Apex?
DEHF: Meeting all of the players that will be there, especially the European and Japanese players.
dmbrandon: Is there anything you’d like to add or say to the community before we finish this up?
DEHF: See you all at Apex! It going to be amazing! If you’re thinking about not going, GO! You’ll be missing out on so much!
DEHF’s chance to defend his international crown comes quickly, as APEX2012 is less than four months away! Stay tuned for next week, where we’ll announce our fifth final event, our streaming partner, and the launch of The Road to Apex: Online Edition!